By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
NORFOLK – A movement is afoot that could ultimately force wind turbine companies to shut down some units after dark. North Perth Coun. Warren Howard is touring Ontario building support for a common bylaw that would silence turbines after dark if they produce noise that is audible to residents nearby.
“The legal advice we have is we can enforce a `quiet night’ provision,” Howard told Norfolk council Tuesday. “Yes, we’ll be challenged. But the legal advice we have is we can win.” The Liberals’ Green Energy Act stripped municipalities of planning authority in the area of renewable energy projects several years ago.
In a recent ruling, a court said that Wainfleet Township had over-stepped its authority by trying to establish a large setback for wind turbines. However, the judge also said municipalities have the right to pass bylaws on nuisance issues that affect residents’ quality of life. The Ministry of the Environment’s allowable noise range in rural areas is 51 decibels. Howard and his allies believe this is too high. Ambient noise in rural areas after dark is in the range of 20 to 25 decibels. The proposed bylaw would cap allowable noise from wind turbines at 30 decibels. Read article